Why Should I Make a Living Will?

The decision as to whether you make a Living Will or not is entirely up to you. In making such a decision, you will need to contemplate situations which might leave you in a persistent state of unconsciousness or indeed cause your death. Understandably, these are situations you might prefer not to think about. However, with high-tech medicine adding years to our lives we all run the risk of being incapacitated before we die. This leaves some serious questions for you, and indeed everyone, to ponder and to plan for.

 

Consider what you would want to happen if a serious accident or illness left you in a situation where:-

  1. you were unable to speak, move, feel or, worse still, you were in constant pain;

  2. only a respirator and feeding tube were keeping you alive; or

  3. your quality of life was virtually non-existent and there was no real possibility of improvement.

 

Would you want to stretch your life out on life support or would you rather let nature take its course? Where would you want to draw the line? When should it end?

 

Unfortunately, far too many people actually find themselves, without warning and without the benefit of asking those questions, in those or similar situations. These people have no control over the medical care they are receiving. These people have no choice but to “live”. You can avoid this lack of control if you are practical. Consider your alternatives and make a choice.

 

If this choice is hard for you to contemplate, think of how it will be for your loved ones if you do nothing. If anything should ever happen to you, they will be the ones who will have to bear the emotional trauma of dealing with your permanent incapacity. They will be the ones that will have to visit you in hospital and make the tough decisions for you. They may even be the ones who have to consider how to foot the bill for years of hospital care notwithstanding that there might be no possible chance of recovery for you! They may even end up paying these bills themselves!

We don’t mean to scare you or to convince you that it’s right or wrong to make a Living Will. We are simply trying to prompt you to think —not to tell you what to think or what you should or should not do or think — just to prompt you into thinking about this very important matter for yourself.

 

Having the right to deicide what medical treatment you receive, if any, during a terminal illness is what Living Wills are all about. It allows you to decide these things now, while you can. It is about doing it calmly and without any pressure, and then articulating your wishes in a legal document that will be there to guide your doctors, friends and family if you ever come into the emergency room unable to tell them what you really want.

The decision to make a Living Will is, of course, yours to make!

 


 


 

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Related Articles

 

Living Will Planning for Incapacity – Advance Healthcare Directives

 

Living Will What is a Living Will?

 

Living Will How Living Wills Work

 

Living Will Who Can Create a Living Will?

 

Living Will Do I Need a Lawyer to Make a Living Will?

 

Living Will What Happens if I Don’t Make a Living Will?

 

 

 

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